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Pakistan Registers Protest with Foreign Country over ‘Threat’

by Newsweek Pakistan
Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

File photo

Foreign Office says requisite demarches have been issued through diplomatic channels in light of NSC decision

Pakistan on Thursday announced that it has issued the requisite demarches through diplomatic channels to protest the “threat” from a foreign country that Prime Minister Imran Khan has claimed is part of a foreign conspiracy against his government.

“As decided in the National Security Committee meeting held on March 31, 2022, the requisite demarches have been made through diplomatic channels,” the Foreign Office said in a brief statement that did not identify the offending country.

On Thursday night, in a nationally televised address, the prime minister—in an apparent slip of the tongue—identified the U.S. as the country that had “threatened” his government before attempting to save face by claiming it was “another country.” While there has been no formal confirmation of the country’s identity, it was an open secret that the government was referring to the U.S., as all its commentary on the “threat” has been focused on Pak-U.S. ties.

Earlier, a press release issued after the 37th meeting of the National Security Committee, said that it had expressed “grave concern” at the “formal communication of a senior official of a foreign country to Pakistan’s ambassador in the said country in a formal meeting.” Terming the language used by the foreign official as “undiplomatic,” the committee “concluded that the communication amounted to blatant interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan by the country in question, which was unacceptable under any circumstances.”

It said that the NSC had decided that Pakistan would “issue a strong demarche to the country in question both in Islamabad and in the country’s capital through proper channels in keeping with diplomatic norms.” Contrary to the prime minister’s allegations, the press statement did not mention any “foreign conspiracy” to oust him from office, nor did it mention the opposition, or the no-confidence vote that he has alleged—without any evidence—is being funded from abroad.

Late on Thursday night, private broadcaster Geo News reported that Pakistan’s Foreign Office had summoned the U.S. acting deputy chief of mission in Islamabad over the “threat letter” and registered strong protest for the undiplomatic language used against Pakistan.

On Sunday, while addressing a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf rally in Islamabad, the prime minister had alleged that “foreign elements” were involved in the opposition’s attempts to topple his government. Waving a white paper in front of his audience, Khan had claimed it contained “written evidence” that “money has been pouring in from abroad” to support the opposition’s no-confidence motion. The opposition has denied these claims and maintained it is acting against the prime minister due to his poor governance and inability to manage Pakistan’s inflation.

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